The Allied Health members of your healthcare team can be seen in a hospital, community centre or private practice. These healthcare professionals have training in a specific body system or function and complement the rest of the team.
Please note access to some of these services may not be available in some areas.
Allied Health professionals include:
A physiotherapist will help keep you as active as you are able to be while living with your lung disease. They will work together with you and may help you to:
- Provide education to help you develop knowledge of your lung condition and related medical problems.
- Treat physical symptoms and work with you to understand and manage them.
- Find solutions to problems you may have due to your lung disease and any other conditions by doing a full assessment. This might include referral to other team members.
- Develop and follow an exercise program to relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.
- Manage breathlessness with physical activity, breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, distraction techniques and pacing activities.
- Clear secretions (mucus) from your airways with airway clearance techniques or devices.
- Regularly check your oxygen levels and blood pressure, especially after supervised exercise.
An accredited exercise physiologist may assist you by:
Developing and monitoring an exercise program specifically designed for your individual needs.
Supporting you to manage breathlessness with physical activity, breathing techniques, relaxation techniques and pacing activities.
Providing you with the support and education required to create realistic exercise/physical activity management goals.
Occupational therapists assist you by helping you:
- Develop ways of better managing everyday activities such as washing, dressing and cooking.
- To work out if any changes are needed at home to help you manage better.
A psychologist will:
- Help you work through fears, worries, and resolving problems.
- Teach you strategies to handle anxiety and depression, and how to relax.
- Teach you how to manage panic attacks.
A social worker will provide you with information or support on documents such as Advanced Health Care Directives and in seeking services such as:
- Home help.
- Financial and legal advice.
A dietitian can assist you if you are underweight or overweight. The dietitian assesses your dietary requirements, and develops a nutritional intervention that will improve lung and respiratory muscle function, improve exercise performance and achieve a healthy weight.
A tobacco treatment specialist will assist you in stopping smoking. They help you quit through intensive counselling and the use of smoking cessation medicines.